Web Copy Blog

Web Copy Blog header image 2

Frame-of-mind Marketing Method For Writing E-Mails

61 Comments · Web Copy

Empathy is defined as the capacity to understand, be aware, be sensitive to, and vicariously experience the feelings, thoughts and experiences of another person. 

Frame-of-mind marketing grows directly out of that feeling of empathy. While many seem to be born with that ability, the good news is that empathy is not a genetic trait, but rather, a skill that you can easily develop.

The ability to view things from the perspective of your audience is not only valuable in copywriting and marketing, but for all social interactions. 

The more sensitive you are to someone’s frame of mind, the more persuasive you can be, the more rapport you can have with people, and, consequently, the more people will trust you and agree with you.

Let’s look at the frame of mind of people who are in the process of opening their e-mail.  The easiest way to do this is to put yourself in the shoes of your average e-mail recipient. 

Write down the thoughts that normally run through people’s heads as they open their e-mail box.  Here’s an example of the typical thought process:

Okay, who sent me e-mail today?  They are curious and eager to receive e-mail.  (A recent AOL/RoberASW study shows that people check their e-mail an average of 13.1 times a week.)

I’m busy and I just have enough time to read the good stuff. They scan their in-box for (1) personal e-mail, (2) important business e-mail, and (3) other things that they have time to read, usually in that order.

Let me delete all the junk mail so that it doesn’t mess up my in-box. People are inundated with commercial e-mail, free newsletters, and e-zines-and their forefinger is positioned over their mouse, ready to click on the Delete button. 

My e-mail box is my private, personal space, and I don’t want strangers and salespeople invading my privacy. 

Their in-box is a sacred place, and they are protective of it, inviting only friends, relatives, colleagues, and selected business acquaintances to enter. 

Some people may have additional reasons, but these are nearly universal. Most of us probably feel the same way.

For this reason, the fundamental rule for writing successful e-mail copy is to review the frame of mind of your audience before writing a single word. 

Clearly, when we want to sell our ideas or products to others, we need to create rapport, and one good way to do this is by aligning ourselves with them, which simply means being like them. 

People develop a bond with you because they see a reflection of themselves in you. An effective way to do this is by mirroring the language in which your target audience communicates, which allows you to gain instant rapport with them. 

The result is that they instantly like and trust you, although they may not know why. Can you see how useful this can be in the selling process–online as well as offline?

People online are used to the up-close-and-personal language that is so prevalent in e-mail, instant messaging, and text messaging. 

There is a one-on-one, in-your-face kind of intimacy in e-mail, and you have to work with it and not against it. 

You must understand who your audience is.  At the same, you should make it personal and conversational. 

Even you are speaking to CEOs, you don’t have to use the language to use the language of the boardroom. 

Speak to your reader’s level of intelligence and comprehension, but keep it friendly.
Just as in writing copy for your website, don’t begin your e-mail messages with formal corporatespeak:  “We at Widgets.com have been in business for 15 years, and we are the industry’s premier source of widgets.” 

That kind of language doesn’t only sound pompous, but it deliberately keeps your audience at arm’s length. 

It’s also boring, so your readers are likely to tune out.  Furthermore, how does the fact that your company has existed for 15 years fill the needs of your audience?  What’s in it for them?

Breaking the Sales Barrier
There’s another part of the equation that is rarely mentioned:  Getting your prospects to like you is important, but what’s even more important is letting your clients see that you like them. 

When that occurs, sales barriers really come down. When we know someone likes us, we believe that they won’t cheat, lie to, or take advantage of us, but instead will give us the best possible arrangement or the best possible deal.

For this reason, it’s crucial to write your e-mail as though you are writing to just one person that you’re fond of, not 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000 at once.  Don’t speak at or to your reader, but with him or her.

Since your audience’s e-mail box is a sacred place where only trusted people are welcome and invited, it is also the place where you can create the closest, strongest bond that can be forged between marketer and audience.

You must never damage that bond by abusing your readers’ trust in you. If they opted in to receive marketing tips from you, and it you don’t deliver on that promise but instead give them sales pitches for various products, you blow it.

If you treat their e-mail box as it dumping place for junk e-mail, you will also blow it.
People form opinions about you based on the e-mails you send them.

Often, you don’t know what those opinions are unless people happen to be vocal about them. Sometimes, people brag about the size of their mailing list, but as the saying goes,

“It’s not the number of eyeballs that matter, it’s the frame of mind behind those eyeballs that really matters.”

Just because you have a list of 50,000 or 100,000 e-mail addresses doesn’t mean that those people care a whit about you. I’d rather have a list of 1,000 devoted subscribers with whom I have a first-name relationship than 100,000 who couldn’t care less about tile.

That’s because I’d be more likely to make a significant number of sales from 1,000 loyal readers than from 100,000 strangers.

Please feel free to write me about the pros and cons you might see from the marketing methods described here.

Tags:

61 Comments so far ↓

Leave a Comment